Little-Known Facts About Soap

Beautiful Bars of Handmade SoapSoap is a common ingredient in every household. How many times each day do you use it? Most of us use it five to ten times each day, yet few of us pause to think much about it. The following facts may give you a new appreciation of and perspective on soap. It’s not just a bunch of bubbles!

For information on why soap is better than hand sanitizer, please read: Why You Should Never Use Hand Sanitizer.

Next Soap Making Class: November 16, Indianapolis

Did you know the following facts? Which ones do you find surprising?

These Facts May Surprise You

  • Soap was first used as a medicinal agent.
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  • The Egyptians regularly bathed, using a soap made by combining animal fats with wood ash.
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  • Real soap is created by combining a strong alkali (lye) with oils and fats.
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  • Real soap made with natural ingredients often has a healing effect on acne, eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions.
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  • The soapmaking process, called “saponification,” separates the oils’ fatty acid bonds and combines them with molecules in the lye to form a salt. This salt is what we refer to as “soap.” (Yes, some salts are soft.)
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  • Most commercial soaps are not true soap, but are a combination of chemical detergents, artificial lathering agents and toxic chemicals.
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  • After a perfectly balanced saponification process finishes, the soap no longer contains lye or fat. Both are “consumed” during the saponification process.
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  • The best soapmakers add extra oils to their recipes. Doing so means some of the oils do not saponify and remain in the soap. This is called “superfatting” and creates a very moisturizing, nourishing bar of soap.
    Natural Handmade Soap. 
  • Glycerin, a natural moisturizer, is a natural product created during the soapmaking process. Commercial soap manufacturers remove the glycerin, replacing it with artificial detergents and other chemicals. This creates a soap that is very drying to the skin. Real, homemade soap retains the glycerin.
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  • A single bar of commercial bar soap may contain over 20 toxic ingredients, many of which have been connected to cancer, endocrine issues, skin problems and more.
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  • The lather, hardness and moisturizing qualities of a soap are dependent on the various oils used in the recipe.
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  • A simple, moisturizing soap can be made using nothing more than olive oil, lard and lye. This soap can be made using common kitchen equipment. Nothing special is needed!

Learn to make your own soap … it’s easy!

It is surprisingly simple to make your own soap. No special ingredients or equipment is needed. If the facts shared above make you want to learn how to make your own soap, stay tuned for my ebook and for upcoming classes on soapmaking.

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Dr. Pamela Reilly is a Naturopathic Physician dedicated to helping people improve their health and eliminate symptoms using natural, integrative methods. She has over 25 years of experience and has helped men, women and children improve their health using a holistic, client-centered focus. She sees clients in Indianapolis, does house calls, and also conducts consultations via Skype or telephone. Please feel free to contact her or visit her Consultations page for more information. Dr. Pamela speaks nationwide on a wide variety of health topics and welcomes speaking invitations.

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2 Responses to Little-Known Facts About Soap

  1. Tricia Boston says:

    This really has my attention. Small family of 3, with an almost 2 year old and trying to become more “Self sustainable” and more eco/organic/natural friendly. Very interested in doing this, but don’t get to Indy too often. Checked out the link for soap making and does not work :/
    However; I really enjoy reading your articles! Thank you for your time and knowledge!

    • Thanks very much. I don’t teach soapmaking classes anymore. My schedule is too busy and I need to stick to natural health topics. I encourage you to do online research. There are a multitude of sites that provide free training on soapmaking. Have fun learning!

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